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The new device that could help those paralyzed in car crashes

As you can imagine, suffering a catastrophic injury in a car accident can be life changing. This is especially true for people who suffer severe spinal cord injuries and are paralyzed as a result. For these people, daily activities become immense challenges as they are forced to relearn how to do even the most basic things.

But what if there was a way to regain movement in paralyzed limbs? Once considered only science fiction, new research out of Australia promises a device that could greatly improve the lives of disabled individuals all over the world.

Called the "bionic spine," the device was created by scientists at Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the University of Melbourne. About the size of a standard paper clip, the device transmits signals from the brain to paralyzed limbs. Receivers implanted in the limbs then interpret the signals, allowing the body to bypass any damaged areas that are otherwise impeding movement.

Though initial use of the device requires patients to consciously think of how they want their limb to move, scientists say patients will eventually learn how to control their limbs subconsciously, making it less of a challenge and more of an integrated part of their lives.

Though approval from the FDA is a long ways off still, the bionic spine still offers a better future for those suffering from catastrophic injuries, whether by birth or by an accident. The hope now is that human trials are successful and that the device becomes a more widespread treatment option for people down the road.

Source: Tech Times, "Bionic Spine May Allow Paralyzed Patients To Walk Again Using Power Of Thoughts," Ted Ranosa,Feb. 9, 2016

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